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Grieving In Gratitude: This Year, My Birthday Is The Ultimate Midlife Crisis

Updated: Oct 13, 2021

On A TLotus Thought: The Blog. I’ve decided to write a multi-part series sharing my experience with losing my first-born son to suicide on 1/1/21. Part journal, part blog, my intention with this series is to raise suicide awareness and save a life, provide hope and support to the loved ones who are on their own grief journey, and share the beautiful story of my continued connection with my son on the other side.

Read part 1 of the Grieving in Grattitude series.

Trigger Warning: Suicide/Grief

If you're thinking about suicide or are concerned about a friend or loved one, there is a free hotline available 24/7 to provide emotional support. Please call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255. (1-800-273-TALK)

Fall is my absolute favorite season. After the sweltering heat of summer, I welcome the energy of change that fall brings. October 30th is my birthday month and I love to celebrate it all month long! Two years ago, I took a solo birthday trip to Vegas and had an amazing time! Last year, I spent a beautiful birthday weekend at a beachfront hotel and celebrated with two of my dearest friends in Carlsbad. I had such an awesome trip, I knew that I wanted to start planning for my 2021 birthday trip. Maybe a cruise? Or another trip to Vegas? I didn’t know in October 2020 that I would be entering my 49th year of life on this earth without my oldest son Kerry.

Before 2019, I only celebrated my birthday with my boys, Kerry, Christopher, Jovan, Shaun and Devin. My boys always made my birthday special. My favorite part of my solar return is when my boys would sing happy birthday to me. With birthday candles lit, and every light in the house turned off, they would always sing it in the loudest, most hysterically silly way, counting offbeat and singing off-key even though they’re all musicians! I would laugh, and bask in the silly joy of my boys. I didn’t need anything more.

Kerry always had a birthday “Ker Bear” hug waiting for me. Every year, he’d hugged me so tightly and lift me off of the floor. Every year, I’d tell him, “You about to make me get my asthma spray!” More laughter, over cake and ice cream, then Kerry would play music on his phone, and everyone would dance, laugh, and just enjoy our time together. No matter what I did on my birthday, I always looked forward to the silliness, laughter, and fun with my boys.

October 30 is the beginning of the holiday season in my home. After my birthday, my 2 Scorpios, Jovan and Devin celebrate their birthdays in November, followed by Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Kerry’s birthday...on New Year’s Day. It’s a beautiful time for celebration. This year, I don’t feel much like celebrating anything.

The Truth About My Grief Journey

A lot of people think that the Spiritually enlightened are always happy, joyful and high vibrational. I’m here to tell you it’s quite the opposite. As much as I live by my mantra of Peace Love and Light, there are times that I don’t feel it or feel like it.

All year, I’ve worked to transmute my pain into purpose. Since Kerry’s suicide, I have been pouring this tremendous pain into my Spiritual work and helping others. Doing so kept me functional and present in my grief. I’ve had some beautiful days. I found a way to find joy in my gratitude for my boys and the amazing opportunities that have led to me having a platform with my podcast to transmute my pain into purpose in a major way. So many beautiful things have happened, and I’ve connected with amazing people. So much to be grateful for and so much to look forward to but the closer to the holiday season we get, the more I don’t look forward to celebrating.

There are times when the grief of Kerry’s loss grips me so hard, all I can do is weep. I cry almost daily. I’m grateful to have amazing friends that I turn to when I must clear my Throat chakra and verbalize my pain, but there are no words really to express the waves of grief that hit me. The process of moving through the pain is sometimes a tortuous journey. Spiritually, I have the tools to vibrate higher but my mind and ego are sometimes louder than Spirit. I still have so many questions, so many “why’s” unanswered. Sometimes I want to scream in anger to losing my baby without as much of a warning or sign that this could possibly happen. So many “what if’s”. The closer we get to the holiday season, the more my mind wants to deconstruct and understand WTF went wrong.

Keeping my head above the muddy waters of my grief is exhausting yet, I dig deep to stay above those waters while focused on the light. This is what losing a child to suicide looks like. As much as I try, sometimes I must surrender and just feel this shit. This is real. This is raw. It’s intense and it’s my truth. I can’t travel to detach from it or fake the funk of smiling every day to hide it. This grieving journey approaching my birthday is the ultimate midlife crisis.

In honor of her son, Kerry James Hill, TLotus has taken up the mission to help save lives by becoming an advocate for suicide prevention and support those who are on their own healing journey from trauma and loss.

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